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Andouille Sausage

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
OK, so I have a weekend free this week, and figured I'd make a batch of andouille to put in the smoker and use for a few months. Ran into a jam where the recipe calls for pork fat, and all I could think of was to buy a chunk of fatback and carefully slice the skin off. The sausage came out very dry. Flavorful, but doesn't render off much fat at all.

So, I think the first question is: when a recipe calls for pork fat as an ingredient, what do you use? Second, I used a hunk of pork loin for the meat, since I had a lot left over from a monster I bought at BJ's. Is there a better cut that gives a juicier result?

I know it's only sausage, but I use it a lot...

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post #2 of 11
shoulder is juicier meat....the variety of pork matters....marbling.
there's belly fat, leaf lard that comes in strips, fresh jowls, fresh fat along the loins.
cooking with all your senses.....
cooking with all your senses.....
post #3 of 11
Hi Bluedogz,
You said that the sausages turn out dry? Really really dry or just kinda dry? It would really help if you can post the recipe that you used especially the amount of meat and backfat used. Did you add water or some ISP(Isolated Soy Protein) maybe?
What casings did you used? What about the grind? Coarse or fine? Well, if you can post the recipe then maybe I can try to offer some help.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hello Lance-

Recipe is off of foodtv.com (color me embarrased), but there's not much to it except "mix spices and meat, grind, stuff."

Used 2.5 lbs. pork loin, 4 oz. fat (yes, I weighed it), casings are 35mm hog casings, salted, the coarsest grind the KA came with (which isn't all that coarse, looks like maybe 3-4mm), no additions such as soy protein, no water in the recipe at all.

Oh, and really really dry. Not inedible, but not quite the consistency I was hoping for. If I throw a handful of it in a skillet, virtually nothing renders off.
post #5 of 11
bluedogz, shroomgirl has it exactly right. Your problem isn's so much the fat back but it is more in using pork loin.

I've never made sausage with loin because it's too lean. I always use pork shoulder (or butt) for sausage and I usually trim the excess fat off the butt first. Then I grind the meat with the marbled fat together and grind the fat by itself. I usually end up with enough fat from my butt LOL, to add into the meat recipe per the percentages.
post #6 of 11
"I usually end up with enough fat from my butt "

I will be good. I will, I will, I will.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #7 of 11
KYHeirloomer rofl!!! I know? I was thinking that same exact thing as I was typing!!! bwahahahahaaha!!! I may have enough fat off my butt for a third world country! haha! ;)

I didn't explain it above very well but the reason I grind the fat separate is cuz I may be able to guestimate the fat % in the meat, then can titrate it better if the outside fat is added as a separate element. It is also easier to keep cold that way! :D
post #8 of 11
In my opinion, the mixture is lacking in fat. If the loin is real lean, you only have about 10% of fat in the whole mixture. Non addition of water or rusk that helps retain moisture contributes to the sausage being too dry as well.
The meat in Andouille is usually seasoned overnight and ground up the next day. The meat and fat is usually ground separately and the meat is coarse ground while the fat is ground up finely.
After stuffing, leave it to bloom in the fridge uncovered for another day and it's ready to eat. If you intend to smoke it then remember to add the required amount of curing salt.
post #9 of 11
Jiggle the fat and see if it's too lean heh
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
OK, none of my recipes mentioned this... could you elaborate?
post #11 of 11
bluedogz, meat products are just things you can't "wing". You run the risk of very serious food born microbes without the use of proper items that reduce this risk. I really recommend going and getting a book called Charcuterie and looking at those recipes. It's really a good read. For any type of sausage other than for raw sausages, you need to use curing salt which has a bunch of nitrites etc in it that help preserve meat. You can sometimes get it at the pharmacy and at some grocery stores.

This allows you to use a "cold smoke" method that cooks at a very low heat where pathogens could multiply because of the optimal temp and environment for multiplying.

For any other sausage, the only way I would do it without curing salt is to make raw sausage, stuff the casing and then immediately into the deep freezer with it. I would only cook or smoke for each meal and that would mean I would cook over higher heat with smoke like in a barbeque and that would mean anything (to me) over about 250-350 of heat. That way you are killing the pathogens inside the meat and cooking them for quick use. You can still get gorgeous smoke on the sausage, simply by doing a hot fire and cooking on indirect heat for a longer period of time than you would with grilling on direct heat and you would use wood chips.

Heck I've even grilled fresh/raw sausage over direct heat alternated with indirect heat and used a small box of wood chips (when I've been cooking with our propane unit). It works fine for smaller quantities and in a pinch. Another thing I like to do is put the grilled sausage in a beer bath to finish cooking them internally after putting alot of color on the outside of them.

But I still wouldn't be real tempted to smoke or cook the sausage on high heat then refreeze or freeze it. To me, it's much better and probably safer (in the end) to cook it to order for each meal.
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